Sat 9th January – Thurs 28th January 2016
Our endemic-laden journey around the Andaman Islands and into the impressively scenic hills of South India certainly proved to be action-packed, with a grand total of 344 species seen. 99 of these were endemic, with 19 Andaman endemics, 46 subcontinent endemics, 34 Indian endemics (mainland), plus 2 near endemics. It’s always exciting birding on the Andamans and we enjoyed good views of the 5 endemic owls on the first couple of nights, out of a tour total of 13 owls! But the amazing views of Andaman Crake in a secluded forest were a personal highlight and left everyone speechless. Leaving this tropical paradise we flew to Cochin and spent a few days amidst the wonderful forests of Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, before heading up into the splendid hills of Munnar and the spectacular Eravikulam National Park. Next up were more endemic-rich areas of Topslip and Ooty before we reached Mudumalai where an unexpected Nilgiri Thrush provided tantalising views. From here we reached Nagarhole National Park and some leisurely wildlife viewing from jeeps and a great afternoon boat ride based at the wonderful Kabini River Lodge, where an Asian Leopard sleeping in a tree was the highlight. A final boat ride near Mysore on our last afternoon brought us exceedingly close views of a nesting colony of Streak-throated Swallows to round off a fabulous tour.